Local News

Day cares aren't required to have insurance

Posted July 21, 2009

— The attorney for Chapel Hill parents whose 7-month-old son suffered brain injuries – allegedly at the hands of his day care provider – said Tuesday that he is concerned that there will be no way for his clients to be compensated.

The reason, John McCabe said, is that the state does not require day cares to have insurance.

"You and I are required to have insurance to go drive a car, but these day cares that are responsible for caring for our children aren't required to have insurance at all," he said. "So, in our case, we don't know whether or not this particular day care had insurance."
Police arrested Cheryl Alston, 53, last week on a charge of felony child abuse after physicians diagnosed the child's injury.

Orange County sheriff's investigators declined to elaborate how the child was injured but said it was "intentional physical harm that caused the condition."

The family has filed a lawsuit against Alston, the owner of Cheryl's Infant & Toddler Preschool, at 202 Jubilee Drive.

Alston, who is out of jail on a $60,000 bond, declined comment Tuesday, referring all questions to her attorney, who could not be reached for comment.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services confirmed there is no state insurance requirement for day cares, other than auto insurance, if children are being transported.

Local zoning laws can require insurance for a day care, but Orange County does not have such a requirement.

McCabe said the boy was in the hospital for five weeks, underwent two surgeries and suffers from vision loss.

The state has suspended Alston's day care license.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • edmundsonag Jul 24, 2009

    Do you really think the parents based their decisions on price alone? It takes a really cold person to say "oh well, that's what the parents get". It it not that black and white.

  • LOC Jul 22, 2009

    Home daycare should carry insurance. It is a risk when you let anybody keep you children who dont have insurance. I agree with tired of thoughtlesness I pay for safety. At least I know that is something happen to my child at a center they would be responsible.

  • whatelseisnew Jul 22, 2009

    Ah the poor lawyer is whining about losing his fee.

  • webhype Jul 22, 2009

    when my wife looked at starting a home day care service we looked at doing it "right", contacting our insurance agent and determining what proper coverage would cost. When we priced our day care service accordingly to cover these expenses we were always undercut by those not carrying liability insurance and having a high children to caregiver ratio. Finally we decided we wouldn't be able to compete in an industry where people were running a day care by the seam of their pants and the state/county/city cared little about regulating this industry. Oversight is a reason for government to exist and this is a perfect case where oversight is needed. If you choose to leave your child in an uninsured, over capacity home day care then so be it. Don’t expect to be able to recover any compensation if your child gets injured or worse.

  • twc Jul 22, 2009

    Absolutely unbelievable that the state, as much as they meddle, hasn't seen fit to cover this area!

  • tarheelgirl07 Jul 22, 2009

    dazrite - NOT TRUE - city / county government organizations are bonded & / or insured - just depends if the hypothetical deputy was driving while on "official business", or for personal use, in which case his / her personal auto policy would apply instead.
    This is why so many people have such a poor opinion of insurance & see it as an extraneous expense - they don't understand / take the time to learn what it's about & how it works.

  • tarheelgirl07 Jul 22, 2009

    a little education will go a long way... First, most standard Homeowners Insurance policies EXCLUDE business activities conducted in a home (ie. day care). Also, their Homeowners Liability limits (which is what a claim would be filed against) are usually only $ 1,000,000 or even $ 500,000. Second, a RESPONSIBLE parent would investigate & make sure the BUSINESS of a day care is properly LICENSED & INSURED. It's only a few hundred dollars a year, & protects the parents & day care provider.
    Any Business providing services & / or products to you or your home should be insured, b/c accidents do happen & people like to sue, especially in this economy.

  • Icaretoo Jul 22, 2009

    Surely she has homeowner's insurance. I would think if they sue her this would come into play. If someone is injured at my home and we are sued, homeowner's would pay. Would be interesting to know for sure.

  • Adelinthe Jul 22, 2009

    Insurance is, by and large, gambling; they're betting you won't have an accident, you're betting you will.

    But one would have to be nuts to think any in-home daycare makes enough money to pay yet another bill. Sure they should be registered by the state, for then they are required to have certain training (like CPR), to have certain safety equipment in place (like locked medications and household chemicals along with fire extinguishers), they get at least annual inspections and complaints are investigated.

    But as for having insurance, the parents need to have that - not the child cares lest their rates go even higher.

    And one does not have to pay a high child care rate to get good care; there is just as good care available in the ones not charging an arm or a leg.

    But folks, ask them to prove they are registered, otherwise the hickey's on you.

    God bless.


  • concerncitizen Jul 22, 2009

    dazrite, Little know fact! Is it true?